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1935: The road that never was

Is this what the road might have looked like? An AA man salutes a member of the organisation (colourised image) c1935.

In a report in the Mid Sussex Times dated 1935, we learn that the County Council had considered a southern bypass to Cuckfield village - 54 years before it was finally opened in March 1989. But they also discussed a northern bypass that would have avoided the high street and the Cuckfield hill:

In the report of the Roads and Bridges Committee to be submitted to the quarterly meeting of the East Sussex County Council today (Tuesday) are included the following references regarding the Planning Scheme: The County Surveyor reported further on the tentative proposals of the Urban Council for the inclusion in their Planning Scheme.

A north and south road approximately half-a-mile in length running from the Ansty-Cuckfield road north of the entrance to Cuckfield Park northwards, west of the village, to join the Cuckfield High Street at a point north of London Lane.

So what were the reasons for not proceeding we might wonder? Maybe low traffic volumes, lack of funds, pending hostilities abroad. Perhaps further research could reveal the answer. We will report back if we find out any more.

Southern bypass

The first(?) mention of a southerly bypass is to be found at the start of the news article and reads:

… an east to west road approximately one mile in length running from the Cuckfield - Haywards Heath road near Bedlam pond westwards, south of Church, to rejoin the same road south of the entrance to Cuckfield Park.

It was recommended that the County Surveyor be instructed to continue his investigations into these proposals and to report further.


The article was entitled: 'Proposed new roads at Cuckfield', report submitted to the County Council. Mid Sussex Times, 23 July 1935.

Map background from, edited by the author.

Photo of AA man from AA website, and colourised.

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.

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